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Decorated Serviceman and Deacon Willie Evans Remembered

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Evans was born January 15, 1925 in Brenham, Texas to Melinda Winston and Willie Evans, Sr. He was the youngest of three children. At the young age of 18, he decided to enlist in the armed forces. Evans proudly served his country with the U.S. Navy. He served in several wars including World War, II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Conflict to which he received many awards and commendations for his bravery. He achieved a stellar 28-year naval career.

In 1966, Evans was extended the Armed Forces Community Award in 1984 and 1985, acknowledged for outstanding and valuable service to the San Diego Consistory. As an E-9 Master Chief in the military, he received many honors, awards, commendations and salutations but the most memorable and monumental of all was surrendering his life to Jesus Christ uniting with the Pilgrim Progressive Baptist Church of San Diego under the pastorate of the late Rev. Marvin Hines. He was not only a highly decorated serviceman, but a tender loving father as well. While still in the military, Evans executed a most noble gesture by taking leave from the Navy and journeying back to Texas to retrieve his one and half year old daughter La Trecee to bring her back to San Diego and raise her as a single father. By her testimony, it was only because of the fact that Evans was such a nurturing, involved, disciplining and supportive single parent that she has become who she is today. There never came a day that he did not tell her that he loved her and that he would always be there for her.

He was a dedicated husband as well. In 1979, he met the love of his life Ella Kenniebrew, but because both parties continuously stated they were not ready, they did not marry until 2001. When they finally married, Evans decided to make up for lost time by loving Ella with affection and aggression for the balance of his living days.

Evans took great pleasure in serving on the local, state, and national level. The Western Baptist State Convention, Pilgrim Progressive Baptist Church and the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of San Bernardino, appreciated and recognized Evans as a convention laymen president on both the state and national levels, Bible instructor, deacon and state convention treasurer. Also, the Western Baptist State Convention Layman Mass Choir was organized under his presidency. Evans was also an active member of the AFM (Prince Hall) GA Thomas where he served as Master Mason.

Evans was an active and faithful member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife Ella Evans; daughter La Trecee Evans; stepson William Kenniebrew; stepdaughter Glenda Gilbert; grandson, Tas Jioan Brown of San Diego, one sister Ethel Hubbard of Pontiac, Michigan; two nieces and two nephews, and a host of family and friends.

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